So you had Postpartum Depression after one pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety after another?! Yeah I know, lucky me right? I will tell you this, it absolutely sucked! Before I go straight into the postpartum part, I want to set the stage... If you've read all of my blogs, you may remember that I had a miscarriage. Due to that miscarriage, I had anxiety about losing my baby almost the entire pregnancy. I was seeing a therapist early on in the pregnancy in order to manage the anxiety. As time and my pregnancy progressed, it became more manageable and, dare I say, even enjoyable. I began to shed the fear of losing my baby again. I was working my regular job and training clients until March of 2020. Then as you know, COVID and the lockdowns happened. Great more reason to be fearful and anxious... Now that I have set the stage, you can see that I had multiple reasons to have these feelings.
After the birth of my baby, I didn't want anyone around. I ordered groceries and disinfected them as soon as they were delivered. We didn't leave the house for anything other than doctor appointments and we didn't have any visitors. I didn't want anyone outside of our home to come in contact with the baby. It was hard, it was heartbreaking and it was all coming from a place of fear. Going through the miscarriage was hard and I had only heard the heartbeat and seen the ultrasound once. Now imagine yourself birthing a child and losing it to this virus that was a threat to everyone young and old. The thought alone was paralyzing and I couldn't fathom going through that kind of pain. My sister got married in 2020 and I actually considered not going! There were so many unknowns at that time, so I lived in fear for months. I had no outlet (other than sometimes going to my parents' house), I stayed home with a toddler and a newborn most of the week. I worried about my oldest being jealous of the baby. I worried about my husband bringing COVID home from work when he had to work at the office a couple of days a week. There were so many sleepless nights and so many intrusive thoughts about worst case scenarios in my head. I went through so many emotions at once and many times felt the darkness of depression start to creep in. Luckily, I did not go back there.
That first year after my daughter was born was full of anxiety and anger. I'm talking about RAGE, like I would HULK OUT! Now, I should mention that I am not an angry or violent person, I'm very chill. I am generally a happy person and consider myself lucky to have the life I live. During this time of my life though, I was breaking shit, slamming doors and punching walls. I imagine anyone who knows me personally is probably reading this like 🤯 WTF?! I was not myself. It was not at all an easy thing to go through and I just did not understand why I was so angry. Nobody had an easy pandemic experience, of that I'm sure! However, looking back on that time, I'm realizing as I'm writing this that I went through a lot. Going through the pandemic was hard enough, but on top of that, having your body and hormones keep you hostage is a whole other level! Now before I give myself props, I do want to say that I had a lot of help. Therapy, a loving partner and awesome family as my support system. Thank God for my husband, mom and family! They all helped me so much and I don't know where I'd be without them! I kept going through therapy at the time to help me navigate being a mother of two during the pandemic and work through all the big emotions. Therapy helps! I don't know who needs to hear this, but therapy is life saving!
So why do I choose to share this? I share this because I want anyone going through it to know that, even when the world feels like it's upside down, you can manage! You can get help! You don't have to go through it alone and you can get better! It takes time, it takes mindfulness and practice but you will be ok. When you look back and see what you went through and how much you can overcome, you will realize how strong you are.